When you run auction ads, you will generally have a certain expectation of how they will perform. However, with so many factors that can impact performance, there are many scenarios where ads will underperform against expectations or fail to deliver at all.
The reason for these performance issues can be the result of a very straightforward issue like a failed payment, or something more nuanced, like your ads are not competitive in the auction and other ads are winning impressions.
To help you troubleshoot these scenarios, we have created a list of common reasons why ads underperform or don't deliver, and the actions you can take to fix them.
Your ads are still in the Learning Phase
When an ad is first running on TikTok Ads Manager, it will go into the Learning Phase, which means that our system is learning which people to send your ad to for optimal delivery. During this process, ad delivery is likely to fluctuate and may even stop.
And throughout the learning phase, you can expect your cost per action (CPA) to fluctuate. With auction ads, the best indicator that an ad group has passed the learning phase is generating 50 conversion events in a week.
There are several suggested actions to take if your auction ads are underperforming during the Learning Phase:
•Wait it out. Our system excels at finding the audience most likely to convert, so give your ads a full 7 days to reach 50 conversions.
•If your ads are struggling to pass the learning phase, increase your bid or try switching to the Lowest Cost bid strategy.
The marketplace conditions are highly competitive
Some audiences are particularly competitive, and your ad may be losing impressions to other ads within the auction.
If your ads are not competitive in the marketplace try:
•Targeting a different audience.
•Raising your bid amount if you are using Bid/Cost cap or budget if you are using Lowest Cost.
•Using the Lowest Cost bid strategy, or using Cost/Bid Cap with Suggested Bid.
•Updating your creative, for example try using Automated Creative Optimization to test combinations of creative and ad text.
You have multiple ad groups are targeting the same audience
If you set identical or similar targeting settings for multiple Ad Groups, these groups will compete with each other, creating audience overlap.
Consolidate active Ad Groups with similar targeting settings into one Ad Group.
Your audience is too broad
If your target audience is too broad, people on TikTok may find your ads irrelevant and refuse to interact with them. This can lower the relevance score of your ads, as more competitive advertisers could be winning the auction.
However, if the audience is too narrow, the ad may struggle to deliver.
If you are having trouble connecting with your audience:
•Create an Engagement Audience from a successful ad group, and use it as a seed audience to create a Lookalike Audience.
•Adjust your bid or budget to be more competitive and try testing multiple ad creatives when targeting narrow audiences.
You edited your Campaign/Ad Group/Ad, while it was running
A significant edit to a Campaign, Ad Group, or Ad will send the ad into the new review process. After the review, the system may need to adjust ad delivery based on the changes, which may cause fluctuations in ad performance.
Examples of significant edits include changes to targeting settings, ad creative, or optimization event. Additionally adding a new ad, pausing an ad for more than 7 days, and making substantial changes to your bid or budget are also considered significant edits.
If you have recently made a significant change to your campaign, wait until it has passed the learning phase to make future edits.
Your payment was unsuccessful
Several unsuccessful billing attempts may cause active ads' delivery to stop. The delivery will resume when the outstanding balance is paid.
Make sure that you have available funds to cover your outstanding balance with your current payment method, or use one that does.
Your ad is being reviewed by our policy team
When you create an ad on TikTok Ads Manager, the ad is reviewed by our internal policy team. During the review, the ad status will be displayed as "Pending Review," and this process may take up to 24 hours.
Wait until the ad review has finished. When your ad passes the review, it will deliver as scheduled.
If your ad does not pass the review, adjust your ad according to the suggestions on TikTok Ads Manager's Campaign tab.
Your account or campaign has reached its spending limit
Setting an account and campaign spend limit is a good idea because it prevents overspending. However, once you reach your spending limits, ad delivery will stop.
Check your ad group or campaign budgets to make sure they have not reached their lifetime or daily limits.
There is a location setting issue
Your ads may not deliver if the language used in them isn't accepted in your targeted location. We have specific language guidelines around language and location, explained in detail in "TikTok Advertising Policies – Ad Creatives and Landing Page."
Adjust the language in your creative, ad caption, any subtitles, and landing page so they comply with the acceptable languages in the locations your ad group is targeting.
For Dynamic Showcase Ads ensure you have set up the required events
For Dynamic Showcase Ads to work properly, you will need to have ViewContent, AddToCart, and Purchase events set for your website or app.
To learn more, see "How to Create Dynamic Showcase Ads."
For websites: Ensure that you have properly configured your pixel and connected your pixel to your catalog.
For apps: Ensure that you're passing back these events from your mobile measurement partner to TikTok Ads Manager and have connected these events to your catalog.